7 Steps to a User-Friendly Blog

**Attention!** Bloggers old and new, check out these essential tips from Diana. Make your blog user friendly! Get more readers, more followers, and more interaction and involvement on your blog. You know it makes sense!

Myths of the Mirror

While I’m away, here’s an older but always a goodie, especially for new bloggers. Good luck!

This isn’t a new topic, but it seems worth a mention every now and then within the WordPress blog community. I love connecting with other bloggers and occasionally a website makes that hard if not impossible to do. Here are a few tips. 🙂

Definitely take a look at these if:

  • You are leaving likes, comments, or follows on other blogs and not getting return visits.
  • Everyone likes your old posts and seems to ignore your recent posts.
  • You’ve changed your blog address at any time (your gravatar may still be directing your readers to the old deleted site!)

1. Make sure your links to your site are working. Unfortunately, this isn’t handled in just one place:

  • In your blog profile: Go to WP Admin – Users – My Profile. At the bottom of…

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Why can’t things just work?

My lifelong battle with technology of any kind appears to be continuing.

And I am definitely on the losing side of this latest skirmish.

I am one of those people who never expect anything to ‘just work’. And even if it does, I hover around nervously waiting for it to fail. Instruction books are normally about as much use as toilet paper, and the two fail-safes seem to always be ‘Factory Reset’, or ‘Turn it off, then turn it on again’.

After a lifetime of being let down by everything from a mobile phone, to the air-conditioning system in my car, the latest assault troops in technology’s personal war against me are revealed as a recently-purchased PVR, my Kindle Fire Tablet, and the miniature camera delivered just this week.

When I got the camera, it seemed to be working fine. I even discovered (eventually) how to change the German menu language into English.
Keen to try it out, I put it on charge.

The next day, it wouldn’t turn on.
So I plugged in the charging cable, and it worked.
I pulled out the charging cable, and it went black.

It seems that the supplied battery, apparently new in its packet, had not taken any charge at all. This despite the flashing light showing it was charging, then stopping flashing, to let me know it had charged. So I have a camera that works, as long as it is connected to its one-metre charging cable. Short of buying a five-mile long cable to trail behind me on my countryside walks, I seem to have two options. The first is to return it and try to get a refund. That might be tricky, from a German seller who does not trade in my language. Besides, I waited years to get one of these, and they are as rare as hen’s teeth. The next option is to consider that it might be a battery failure, and to buy a brand-new replacement battery online for very little money. So that’s what I have done.

Fingers crossed that the camera actually recognises the new battery when it arrives…

On to more technology, the Amazon Fire tablet. This actually worked pretty well from day one. However, early attempts at reading books on the Kindle App showed pages advancing at will, even when I wasn’t touching the screen. Sometimes, they flew by so fast, they almost got to the end of the book! I was constantly having to restart the books, and then ‘flick-forward’ to where I had been reading. Perhaps I was giving off a lot of ‘electricity’? I had no idea why it was happening. I was just about to consider returning the thing to Amazon, when that glitch stopped, and I enjoyed many months of ‘normal’ Kindle reading. On Wednesday night, the dreaded ‘flick-forward’ started again, happening before my eyes when I was not even actually touching the thing, just holding it by the protective case.

Unable to face the stress of trying to sort it out late at night, I turned off the bedside light and went to sleep.

Last night, I wanted to check the time of a TV programme on the PVR that we use to view and record all our television through. The machine is only six months old, and I have already suffered one compulsory ‘Factory Reset’. When I pressed the button for the Electronic Programme Guide on the remote control, only one channel (out of more than 100 available) was displayed. Naturally, it wasn’t the channel I was interested in. I checked through the instruction book, to find absolutely no mention of any fault like this. As I followed the suggestion that I could alternatively source the channel information via the device’s main menu, the screen went blank.

So that was it. No TV, unable to record anything, and a small black electronic device sitting there sniggering through its metaphorical fingers at me.

I remembered Fail Safe Option Two. The power was disconnected, then reconnected.

After a lot of strange whirring noises and an indicator light flickering on and off, it came back on. With a fully functional programme guide too.

But I know it’s only playing with me…

So, whoever you are, you Gods of Technology, I surrender. My hands are up, the white flag is flying, and I have had enough.
My capitulation is complete. You win, I’m a loser. I admit it. You are the boss, not me.

Now will you please just work?

How? Why?

We have a fault with the new cooker we bought last year. It’s not a ‘won’t work’ fault, but the fan refuses to turn off, and comes on of its own accord, even when the oven hasn’t been used all day. Just another of life’s little annoyances, add it the list that grows daily. The small niggles that make me so frustrated with modern technology, I am in danger of biting through my bottom lip.

Luckily, it is under guarantee. Just get the receipt that doubles as the guarantee, contact the shop that supplied and fitted it, and off we go.

Hang on. Where did I put that paperwork? Somewhere safe, obviously. A place so secure that not only would I never lose it, I can be sure of never remembering where to find it, if I live to be 100.

My fault of course, not my wife’s. I dealt with the purchase, I paid for it out of my account, so it’s my job to get it sorted.

Funny thing is, whenever she loses or misplaces similar receipts, that’s also my fault. Because I must have moved it. That goes without saying. It was definitely ‘there’, and now it has gone. The only solution is that I moved it for some reason best known only to me, and now I don’t know where it is.

This doesn’t end with receipts for electrical goods, oh no. Instruction books for things bought but never used, they all disappear too. Attachments for things like mixers and vacuum cleaners suddenly remembered, where did we store them? They will never be found. We already know that, as we begin the fruitless search, and tempers rise.

This reasonably small house has very little storage, or free space. But it is nonetheless capable of swallowing up unlimited amounts of crucial paperwork, and rarely used household implements.

Yet we know full well that we stored them ‘here’, or ‘there’. We can remember it as if it was yesterday. Yet they are gone. For ever.

How does this happen? Is it only us? Are we completely careless and thoughtless? And when it happens, why is our first thought to allocate blame, washing our hands of any responsibility for the loss? Why don’t we stick to a simple system? Maybe we should have one big box where all such things go to live.

We would have to rummage through it, and probably tip it out every time we had to find something. But we would rest easy, knowing it would eventually be found in ‘The Box’.

As long as we can remember where we put the box of course.